Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 16, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening, i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: presidential candidates descend on south carolina and nevada before voting this weekend. we get the latest from the trail also ahead, growing antisemitism in denmark and sweden, where jewish families are increasingly under attack. and, how slow internet speeds slow learning for mississippi high school students. >> there's a large portion of them that have never been out of a 60 mile radius of this town. and if our technology is slow i can't expose them to anything. >> ifill: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
6:01 pm
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: president obama vowed today to nominate someone "indisputably" qualified to replace the late supreme court justice antonin scalia.
6:02 pm
senate republicans are insisting he forego a nomination fight in this election year. but after a southeast asian summit in california, mr. obama said he means to do his job, and senators should do theirs. >> there are a lot of republican senators who are gonna be under a lot of pressure from various special interests and various constituencies and many of their voters to not let any nominee go through no matter who in nominate. but that's not how the system's supposed to work. that's not how our democracy's supposed to work. justice scalia will lie in repose in the great hall friday. the funeral will be saturday. from the gulf coast in new england, from the gulf coast to new england, a winter storm system whipped up trouble overnight. millions along the eastern seaboard faced a treacherous morning commute, after freezing rain coated roads with ice. the same front sent tornadoes
6:03 pm
ripping through parts of the gulf coast late monday, damaging homes in the florida panhandle and mississippi. but in the west, california and arizona faced another day of record heat. the u.s. and cuba signed a deal today to resume commercial air traffic, for the first time in 50 years. it's the latest step in normalizing relations. as early as this fall, american carriers could offer 110 flights a day between the u.s. and cuba. in mexico, pope francis urged clergy to battle the drug violence that's devastated the country. he took that message to morelia, capital of a southwestern state ravaged by decades of gang warfare. speaking to a packed stadium, francis exhorted priests and nuns not to give in to moral paralysis, what he called the devil's favorite weapon. >> ( translated ): what temptation can come to us from places often dominated by
6:04 pm
violence, corruption and drug trafficking in the face of suffering and vulnerability? what temptation might we suffer over and over again when faced with this reality? i think we can sum it up in one word: resignation. >> ifill: this was the second- to-last day of the pontiff's mexico tour. tomorrow, he visits prison inmates near the texas border. the u.n.'s human rights office sharply criticized china today for an ongoing crackdown on dissent. it urged beijing to release more than 250 human rights lawyers and activists arrested since july. the office also pointed to the disappearance of five hong kong publishers who opposed the chinese government. four u.s. journalists arrested in bahrain have been released. they were detained sunday, covering the anniversary of the 2011 shiite uprising. today, the americans were formally charged with joining an illegal gathering. later, they flew out of the island nation, after the u.s. embassy intervened.
6:05 pm
heavy fighting in northwestern syria left prospects for a temporary truce in doubt today. government forces and allied groups, backed by russian air strikes, kept pounding away near the nation's largest city. alex thomson of independent television news filed this report, including some images that may be disturbing. >> reporter: the suburbs of northern aleppo. cluster bombs from aircraft. the closer we get to the proposed ceasefire on friday, the less likely it looks. across the battlefield, the russia-syrian-iranian forces have never had it so good-- why talk peace when maybe, just maybe, you can wrap up the entire war?
6:06 pm
who is able to assemble these conditions or requirements within a week? no one. who will talk to the terrorists if the terrorist organizations refuse a cease fire? will hold them accountable? >> no wonder assad talks war because across northern syria to homes, the country's most popular aleppo, militias wants to surround and take all of aleppo whilst moving north to seal off the border to turkey to cut rebel support lines. rebel fighters in aleppo, but for how much longer? down in damascus the u.n. talked today about getting humanitarian aid into some areas tomorrow. talked about it. aleppo is unlikely to see it happening. today they dug a baby-- alive-- from his obliterated family home there.
6:07 pm
then they found his elder brother, also somehow still living. >> ifill: amid the fighting, syrian kurds advanced near the turkish border. but, fearing they plan to seize turkish territory as well, turkey shelled the kurdish fighters. an egyptian diplomat who rose to u.n. secretary-general died today. boutros boutros-ghali served as the world body's first chief from africa, from 1992 to 1996. his term was marked by tension with the u.s., and then- president bill clinton, as well as criticism of the u.n. response to genocides in rwanda and bosnia. boutros boutros-ghali was 93 years old. four major oil producers pledged today to cap production, in a bid to support prices. russia, saudi arabia, venezuela and qatar said they'd limit output for the year to the
6:08 pm
levels of last month, if other countries follow suit. it's unclear if iran will agree. the islamic republic wants to ramp up oil exports now that sanctions have eased. wall street rallied for a second day. the dow jones industrial average gained 222 points to close near 16,200. the nasdaq rose 98 points, and the s&p 500 added 30. and, the music world has doled out bragging rights for another year. california rapper kendrick lamar took home five grammys last night in los angeles, the evening's biggest haul. pop superstar taylor swift won for album of the year. and "hamilton" playwright lin- manuel miranda accepted the grammy for best musical theater album. still to come on the newshour: candidates feeling the pressure, bring the heat four days before the next primary. a push for convenience stores to provide healthier food options. refugees and the rise of anti-
6:09 pm
semitism in europe. the jon stewart of egypt. and much more. >> ifill: the candidates who would be president are targeting two groups of potential voters today, democrat and republican, in south carolina. political director lisa desjardins reports. >> reporter: republicans fighting for south carolina have learned fast, the people of the palmetto state like to talk security. in columbia, former florida governor jeb bush's latest swing at donald trump was about readiness to command. >> i guess he think he can use his real estate skills to somehow magically bring to life the weapons system necessary to keep our war fighters safe, that magically we'll have an army of
6:10 pm
490,000, that magically we'll find 15,000 more marines. >> reporter: for the moment, south carolina is the g.o.p. front line, with candidates in 13 different cities today, across a state with a huge veterans population and more than half a dozen military bases. as for frontrunner trump, he called up an iraq war veteran to the stage in north augusta today. this he's been after days of blasting bush's brother, former president george w. bush, for the war and for 9/11, and he did it again last night. >> ever ask yourself why his brother went silent for all these years? no, don't ask yourself that. >> reporter: and count ted cruz in on the security talk, and
6:11 pm
>> reporter: a few miles away in summerville, marco rubio was more relaxed, feeling southern charm. >> the mosquito's the state bird? >> reporter: the florida senator put a new twist on the obama attack that's tripped him up in the past. >> barack obama, at the risk of repeating myself knows what he's doing he knows exactly what he's doing okay? was obamacare an accident or on purpose? >> on purpose! >> was dodd/frank an accident or on purpose? >> reporter: democrats, today? a different theme. in columbia, bernie sanders made his case to black voters, who form a majority of the states' democrats. change takes place from the bottom on up. when people begin to stir. ( applause ) dr. king was clearly one of the great leaders in american history. but it wasn't him alone. it was thousands and thousands of african-americans and their white allies.
6:12 pm
>> reporter: hillary clinton too was courting black voters, but in new york. she sat down with leaders of the national urban league. >> my campaign really is about breaking every barrier because i believe absolutely that america can't live up to it's potential unless every single person has the chance to live up to theirs. >> reporter: notably, neither of the democrats made a stop today in nevada, even though it's where their next contest will be, this saturday, the same day that republicans vote in south carolina. >> ifill: the official unemployment rate may have fallen to just under five percent, but food stamps remain a pivotal part of daily life for millions of americans. 46 million people, or about one of every seven americans, receive food stamps. now the government wants to steer them toward healthier food
6:13 pm
choices. the u.s.d.a. plans to require retailers that accept food stamps to stock more fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. the stores would have to stock at least 168 items the government considers healthy. but would healthier options necessarily change behavior? we explore this with yael lehmann, executive director of the food trust in philadelphia, a not-for-profit organization that works to ensure healthier eating alternatives. welcome, ms. lehmann. what is behind to force retailers to stock healthier foods? >> i think the usda has good intentions here and it's a good goal, right? we want all people including low-income people who are on snap or formally called food stamps to have access to affordable and nutritious foods. we want to make sure oranges are just as accessible to them as orange soda, for example, when they go to the convenience
6:14 pm
store, but we also want to make sure that we're supporting the retailers in this case so they learn how to stock these items and we know it can be done, we just want to make sure it's done in a way there is no unintended harmful consequences to the retailer or customer. >customer. >> ifill: when you say stock the items, do the retailers get a list of the specific items they should have in stock at all times? >> that's my understanding is the usda would offer a list. again, this is a proposed policy change, and i think that, over our many years, we've worked for over ten years, now, to help folks who run convenience stores to stock healthier items. we know it can be done, but they need assistance, they need training in some cases and in some cases they're not familiar with stocking certain items like produce. so, yes, if we give them a list, let's make sure we can help them be successful and be able to pick the items on that list that are going to sell and are going
6:15 pm
to be popular with their customers. >> ifill: as a business proposition, is this something that's sustainable for the corn groarts or the corner bodega which may not even have the storage space or refrigeration for those kinds of sniements. >> it's true there are certain challenges and that's another thing we want to think about when we're considering this proposed change that usda has put out there. some of the retailers don't have refrigeration or the place to stock these certain items. at the food trust, the organization i'm the executive director of, we work with the retailers to help them find refrigerators and to show them how to stock these foods. we want to make sure, again, that they have the proper ways to stock these items and to make them look attractive and to be stored correctly, you know, so that -- and priced correctly so that it's as accessible and
6:16 pm
affordable as possible and attractive as possible to their customers so that they can be successful, and we know it can be done. we've seen retailers over the years do very well with this, but they need some help out of the gate. >> ifill: so the onus is put on the retailer. what about the behavior of the consumer? how do you know that merely putting the oranges on the shelf won't make the person who's buying with food stamps reach for orange soda if the food stamps will cover it? what changes the behavior? >> well, i think there is a number of things. you know, we can talk to -- there is people who are more educated on this than i am, but, as you know, when you walk into any store, whether a groarts or a corner -- a grocery store or a corner store, the way the items are placed, if it looks attractive, if it's priced the right way, if it's within eye level, all of these different things can make an impact on what you choose. we also know that by having
6:17 pm
marketing materials or sometimes by having the guy behind the counter saying, hey, have you tried the oranges? that can have an impact. there is lots of different ways to influence consumer buying habits. but for the most part, you want to make sure it's priced right, looks good, tastes good and that you can see it, it's right there in front of you. >> ifill: what if what you see in front of you is pre-packaged noodles, freeze-dried food and, right next to it, is, perhaps, a more expensive, fresh noodles? what about this, especially since you're still trying to stretch your food stamp buck, will encourage you to buy the fresher stuff if it's cheaper, if you could get more with your food stamps? >> it's a very good point you're bringing up. price is incredibly important especially when you're on a very, very tight budget and price is going to matter when you make the decisions of what to buy in the store, whether
6:18 pm
convenience store or grocery store. there is incentive programs, for example, different programs that are called things like double-up food bucks, for example, that are advocated by groups like wholesome way and the fair food network and others but it's a way to stretch your food stamp dollars so when you're buying the healthy item it's even at a better price point. we want to think about how can we make sure the prices are good, what additional incentives can we offer to the customer to make sure the fresh noodle is priced the same as the processed, maybe not as healthyy noodle? >> lehmann, director of the food trust in philadelphia, thank you very much. >> thank you.
6:19 pm
>> ifill: a surge in anti- semitic attacks is driving european jews to move to israel and other countries where they feel safe. over the last two years alone, nearly 20,000 jews have left from throughout europe, according to the jewish agency. special correspondent malcolm brabant reports from denmark and sweden, on the fears there, and the attempts to reduce the tension. >> reporter: these valentine's bouquets symbolize the loss of denmark's innocence. prime minister lars lokke rasmussen made an anniversary pledge to film maker finn norregaard, shot at a free speech forum and synagogue security guard dan uzan, killed for being a jew. >> of course we are still threatened, but we insist on living our peace life and that is the most important message we can send here today. we will never give in. we will never give up. >> reporter: what about the jewish community, because they feel particularly vulnerable.
6:20 pm
that reason we are in close >> yes, i realize that and for that reason we are in close cooperation with the jewish community and will do our utmost to protect them. we insist to live side by side in a peaceful manner. >> reporter: denmark's new reality required heavily armed police at a basketball match to celebrate dan uzan's life. he loved the game and his face adorned the uniforms of the predominantly jewish teams. dan's father sergiot has always insisted that hate should not prevail. >> the most important message is that we have to be together and to fight terrorism together. evil will not win. and with power, we have to win it with goodness. >> reporter: hannah bentow was the girl dan uzan died protecting. her batmizvah or coming of age party was in full swing when the
6:21 pm
terrorist attacked the synagogue. every week, before the jewish sabbath, her mother mette has a special ritual, lighting a candle for dan uzan. mette bentow's high profile has made her a target for anti since the shooting she's semitic behavior. since the shooting she's received numerous threats via social media, and in broad daylight in central copenhagen. when i passed him, he spat at me. i did get a little yelling but it was the spitting at me that was very uncomfortable. >> reporter: mette bentow believes that these days, anti semitism comes predominantly from muslims. but she's trying to maintain a sense of idealism and friendship with niddal el jabri. el jabri, a palestinian, whose family hails from hebron on the west bank, was instrumental in organising a peace ring around the synagogue following last year's attack. >> it's all about the kids for
6:22 pm
me and it's always been about the kids for me. we want to make society safe for them. i keep saying that the jewish school here in copenhagen is one of the biggest examples of how humanity has failed in this country. and that you have to have armed forces, you have barbed wire around the school, you have cameras all over. when that is the situation, adults need to sit down and think about what this country is doing to its children. >> reporter: mette bentow could not bear to be in denmark on the anniversary. she took her daughter to israel, to which she's increasingly drawn. >> my children's future is not in denmark. no, it's not. they want to live a jewish life? it's not in denmark. no. my future for the time being is in denmark and then we'll see. >> reporter: historically in europe, anti semitism has come from the right wing, but most jewish leaders believe the greatest threat now emanates
6:23 pm
from the continent's growing muslim population. this is a gathering of the extreme islamist political party hizb ut tahrir last year, not long after the copenhagen attacks. hizb ut tahrir wants a worldwide caliphate; it's banned in several european countries. but not in denmark. it's spokesman is elias lamrabet. what is your message to the jews of copenhagen who feel especially vulnerable? >> i don't feel responsible to have a specific message to the jews of copenhagen. and i'm not sure that they are especially vulnerable compared to so many other people do, i don't really have a comment to that question. >> reporter: how can you say they are not vulnerable when... >> i said i don't have a comment to that question. >> reporter: is that because it's too difficult for you? >> not at all, it's because i think this interview is over. >> reporter: after the synagogue attack, copenhagen's chief rabbi jair melchior says that dialogue with local muslim leaders has intensified and improved, and claims that denmark is safer for
6:24 pm
jews than france, where thousands are leaving. >> the majority of the jews leaving france, they live in very specific neighborhoods. they are usually jews who emigrated, of their parents emigrated to france to live in a better place. now if they live in a bad neighborhood with a very big percentage of muslim population then they can find themselves, leave. >> reporter: after a machete attack on a jewish teacher last year in the southern french port of marseilles, the city's chief rabbi urged his community not to wear jewish symbols such as the kippa. he was swiftly criticized for what was called his defeatist attitude. yet here in scandinavia, such discretion has become essential. across the bridge to malmo, whose large muslim population has expanded drastically during sweden's short lived open door refugee policy. at the jewish kindergarten, they're preparing traditional sabbath bread. the numbers of children
6:25 pm
attending have dropped sharply since the copenhagen attacks. we weren't allowed to show their faces for security reasons. today, the jewish community numbers just 500, a quarter of its size a generation ago. it's acting head is freddy gellberg. >> it's essential for the jewish community in this city. if we don't have any kids, no future. our biggest enemy is assimilation in a way. traditions and culture which are most important for most of us, maybe not the jewish religion. >> why can't we dress, the way we want to dress without risking being attacked? >> reporter: fredrik sieradzki is running a new information centre that's part of a rearguard action to give this ever shrinking minority a more powerful voice. >> most jews are wary about wearing symbols, jewish symbols of course.
6:26 pm
young jewish kids are, i know, very careful not to walk around with a star of david, or a yamullkah on their head, a kippa. >> reporter: if anyone understands the situation, it's siavosh derakhti who's been feted by president obama for urging muslims to resist anti semitism and to integrate. a young swede of iranian muslim heritage, his peace making efforts have put him on the same front line as the jews. >> every day i get threats that i'm a traitor, i'm a jewish lover, i'm a pig, i have to die, they're going to kill me. i'm here in sweden because my family flew from iran and from the dictatorship because i can we see in malmo and sweden that this democracy that we cannot live side by side and i want to make that happen. >> reporter: nima gholam ali pour's parents fled from iran in 1988 to avoid his brother being conscripted as a child soldier. he belongs to the right wing sweden democrat party and fears anti semitism will increase as a
6:27 pm
result of the country's open door policy. >> my worry is that if you see the infrastructure among some migrants in sweden, if you see the mosques, what they are saying, what kind of language they are using, if you see the language that today exists, the migrants that are coming, they are coming to a society where anti semitism is normal among some migrants and it will strengthen. >> we hope that the influx of new immigrants here refugees, immigrants won't increase the tensions. and we try to work together with the city council and with other immigrant organizations to bring down the tension. >> reporter: jewish communities believe that if these children are to have a future in sweden,
6:28 pm
newcomers must leave behind the conflicts of the middle east and accept the european aspirations of tolerance and peaceful co- existence. but critics say sweden has a poor integration record. so is that an impossible challenge? for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in scandinavia. >> ifill: stay with us, coming up on the newshour. the schools with the slowest internet in mississippi. how the black panthers sparked a revolution that continues today. and why a chef says you should never pass up dessert. but first, last week marked five years since longtime egyptian president hosni mubarak was removed from power after the so-called "18 days" of revolution. but the path forward has been tumultuous. our coverage of these "five
6:29 pm
years on" concludes with a conversation with a man who's often called the 'jon stewart of egypt.' jeffrey brown has our story. >> brown: as revolution swept through egypt in 2011, bassem yousef and several friends started a political satire show on youtube broadcast from his laundry room. nine episodes and 5 million views later, yousef was offered a weekly show on an egyptian television network. with his caustic witness and ironic takedowns he lampooned the government to have the muslim brotherhood's mohamed morsi and al-fattah se sisi. he received a press freedom aword by the committee to protect journalists. in the same year he was investigated and interrogated by the morsi government on charges of insulting the president. the military government that
6:30 pm
opposed morsi in a coup was no more friendly to yousef's brand of humor. his show canceled in 2014 and he left egypt. i riched him on a recent vincent to this country. when i asked how he would describe the political situation in egypt today. he began in full salt tiricle mode. >> it's perfect, we have no problem. political satire shows like mine are still going on, there is absolutely no crackdown on freedom of speech. everything is lovey-dovey and beautiful. >> ifillbeautiful. >> brown: and everything you said is completely untrue, right? >> your words, not mine. everything is perfect. >> brown: five years later, do you yourself wonder what happened or even whether it was all worth it? >> here's the thing. i think, in a day and age of instant gratification and instant tweets and shares and
6:31 pm
likes, people think things come easily but they don't. if you look at revolutions and change all over history and other parts of the world, change didn't come in 18 days, which we and the rest of the world is basically naive thinking we could get rid of the leadership in 18 days. a revolution is a process, not an event, and it takes its time. >> brown: in your own work, you came up against two very powerful forces in egyptian life, reling and the military. >> religion and nationalism is basically flip sides of the same coin. these are things always used in order to push back on the disseptember and opposition and criticism, and i was accused by the muslim brotherhood of being an infidel or someone who doesn't like islam or i want to insult religion and afterwards i was accused of insulting the
6:32 pm
army, insulting the military, and these are the stuff that is extremely sensitive, and people with not -- would not even go into a discussion of what i actually said and would assume that i actually meant to insult religion or insult the army. >> brown: but you were hugely popular. you were reaching a lot of people, yet you still felt you had to stop and leave the country out of fear for yourself and your family? >> well, at the end of the day, you need a window, and that window or the windows broadcast channels and networks, at the end of the day, they are also under a lot of pressure, and it could not continue with the pressure being overwhelming on everybody. that's why i chose -- i opted for the choice of safety for me and my family and people around me because sometimes they don't even come and touch you. some other people that would be hurt because of what you say. people are not even related to the show, but related to you.
6:33 pm
i need to think on the bigger picture. >> brown: looking back, what role did satire play and what role might it still play in egypt? >> well, satire will continue to exist after the show. i did not invent satire. i didn't come up with it, and it will continue to be a very powerful tool to disrupt political taboos and social taboos and religious taboos because those taboos are always used to control and to curb people's way of creativity and thinking by making them feel guilty buzz they want to make a change. satire liberates you from all of these restrictions, and it's still used by young people on the internet and online, and it will not stop. >> brown: what about the limits of satire? have you come to think that people perhaps expect too much of it and its ability to affect
6:34 pm
change? >> yes. i think it's true in all parts of the world, but at the end of the day, a satirist or comedian only has his voice. we just bring it up to the people for discussion. if people do not make a change, you cannot continue to operate in a vacuum. and so that's why people have this sort of not even activism. they're protected behind their keyboards and they think by laughing at something will solve things. they need to move and do the change themselves. attend of the day, a satirist or comedian has a very, very limited role. >> brown: and you, is it still possible to live and work in egypt now? >> i am not there right now, and that is my answer. >> brown: bassem yousef, thank you so much. >> thank you very much.
6:35 pm
>> ifill: now to the digital divide in public education. nearly ten percent of all students attend rural schools where the simple act of going online can hamper their ability to learn. "education week,", which partners with the newshour, visited schools in mississippi with the slowest internet in the state. special correspondent john tulenko reports on the problem, and what's being done to fix it, part of our weekly education coverage we call "making the grade." >> reporter: calhoun county in north missis sippi covers nearly 600 care miles, most of it farmland dotted by a few small downdz like bartiman. >> bart iman is about as small-town country as it gets. most everybody knows everybody and is kin to everybody.
6:36 pm
>> reporter: this is sweet potato country, home to 17-year-old c.j. >> if you count this summer, i would be a fifth generation sweet potato farmer. >> reporter: c.j. is doing well in high school and planning ahead. >> i see myself graduating from a four-year college and a degree i want where i can have multiple job opportunities and not be confined to one. >> reporter: but standing between c.j. and her college dreams is a major problem -- the internet at her school. >> the internet is very contrary at vartiman high school. you have good and bad days but more bad than good at vartiman. >> reporter: schools here have the slowest internet in all of mississippi. >> history classes are limited to books and worksheets. we don't do research on significant figures in history
6:37 pm
or the government now, and i think that's really going to hurt us later, you know, why be limited to that when there's a whole world at our fingertips or potentially could be. >> reporter: the internet here is slow because it comes via old copper wires running for miles underground. even though high-speed cables have been laid by a phone company on one side of the district, on the other side, a second company has said upgrading its service is too expensive. without those new cables, there is no high-speed internet for schools and students like pam odom's sixth graders. >> these are rural children, most of them have never been outside mississippi. a large portion of them have never been out of a 60-mile radius of this town. and if our technology is slow, i can't expose them to anything.
6:38 pm
>> reporter: meanwhile, the rest of the state is race ahead. >> make sure you have all that cop idea down. >> reporter: amanda riser teaches sixth grade in a more affluent college town just 30 minutes away. how hard is it for you to go online? >> not hard at all. they can get online and do research anytime throughout the day where a teacher has a cart or computer is available. >> reporter: that's just the start. >> our curriculum is 100% online so quizzes, homework and tests are all completed online. we can add enrichment lessons or have an intervention lesson or add more practice on a certain topic or certain lesson and make sure they understand those fundamental basics before we move on. >> reporter: it suddenly hit us, something was missing. do you have any books in this room? >> i have six books available. >> reporter: where? they're hidden behind the beautiful curtains. >> reporter: back in calhoun
6:39 pm
county, they're still using textbooks every day. >> so you're going to write that word. >> reporter: while computers and internet access are no guarantee of a better education, without them, students are at an unfair disadvantage. it's a problem in rural districts across the country, some 20% currently lack access to high-speed fiber, but help could come from new changes to the $4 billion federal erate program which helps schools pay for internet service. >> what we did was we said, okay, schools, if you're not being provided service or not being provided service at a reasonable rate by your local provider, you can build it yourself. >> reporter: tom wheeler who heads the federal communications commission led an effort to overall the program by giving districts like calhoun county the options to build fiber
6:40 pm
networks of their own pressuring local telecoms to offer better deals. >> school administrators said i'm being told it's techniques pensive or can't be built and i'm not putting up with it, but the s.e.c. will help you take that situation in your hands by funding it, that's a game changer. >> reporter: calhoun county became the test case rents recently, one of the first districts to seek federal funds to build a new fiber network that included the option of a build-out of its own, mike moore is superintendent of schools. >> all of these providers and all start popping up and saying, well, maybe we can do this, and maybe we can do that, but i don't think until we talked about really building our own line and putting the bids out, i don't really think they were serious. >> reporter: as it turned out, schools here won't have to build their own network, by inviting outside companies to bid on the job or come in with their own
6:41 pm
fiber. the district was able to secure a more attractive contract from local providers to complete the job, but it will take some time, maybe a year. hopefully not too late for c.j., who will be a senior. >> i'm a very competitive person. i'm not a sore loser, but i don't like to lose. >> reporter: no one said fixing this problem was going to be easy. in calhoun county, mississippi, i'm john tulenko of education week reporting for the pbs "newshour". >> ifill: the education week team has extensive coverage about broadband in rural schools at online you can watch our recent story on how one of the poorest school districts in the country grappled with similar problems and decided to outfit its school buses with wi-fi. you can find that on our web site,
6:42 pm
>> ifill: the "independent lens" documentary "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution," airs tonight on pbs stations... it traces the group's origins and influence on u.s. politics and culture in the 1960's >> black panthers were absolutely unique. >> pleat jump on you, beat you up. this is what we were going through on a daily basis. >> now we had voices that were not going to turn the other cheek. >> stop brutalizing our community or we're going to drive you out. >> we don't hate color, we hate oppression. >> we wanted the entire community to follow. >> ifill: jeffrey brown is back with his conversation with the film's award-winning director stanley nelson. >> brown: stanley nelson, welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: did this begin for you from a sense that the black panthers were misunderstood, not well remembered, forgotten altogether? what's the beginning?
6:43 pm
>> i think it was that they were misunderstood. i think that the panthers are well remembered but i think that people don't understand who the panthers were and don't understand how the panthers were thought of back then in the '60s. so i thought it was really right for a new telling. >> brown: given the controversy back then to this day, right, and there's a lot of history to get your arms around. how much do you think you could tell? >> you know, i think it started out as a three-hour project and we realized two hours was about the limit. but, you know, we knew that we couldn't tell every single thing and we knew that we had to stop and start somewhere, so the film really begins with the beginning to have the panthers in -- beginning of the panthers in 1966 through their hay day and nendz 197 -- and ends in 1973. >> brown: which part did you feel you most needed to -- i don't know if "correct" is the
6:44 pm
right word. >> they're demonized and mythologized. i think both groups get it wrong. sometimes it's oversimplified, they were bad or great, and there's a lot of nuance to the panther story and we wanted to get that out in this film. >> brown: and you're certainly showing the social programs they're involved in but, at the same time, of course, it begins with guns, with young black men and women in the streets of oakland. >> well, it began as a way of, as the panthers would have put it, to kind of defend the community against the bring -- brutality of the police. at that point the oakland police department was notoriously brutal. there was a quirk in the law, the open carry law in california nobody knew about it but said you could carry an open weapon as long as you carried it out in the open. the panthers said, okay, we'll police the police. we'll follow the police and as they put it make sure that no
6:45 pm
brutality occurs when the police stops somebody. > >> brown: we have a short clip to show catching the spirit of the times. let's take a look. >> okay. ♪ ♪ >> this brother here, myself, all of us were born with our hair like this and we just wear it like this. the reason for it, you might say, is like a new awareness among black people that their own natural physical appearance is beautiful. black people are aware now, they're proud of it and it's pleasing to them. isn't it beautiful? all right. ♪ ♪
6:46 pm
>> you're talking about people who were teenagers -- 17, 18, 19, 20 -- that's the bulk of the panthers are teenagers. so the fact that we were so young and the fact that this hadn't happened before, i'm not certain that we recognized how startling it looked to other people. >> brown: how startling it looked. i mean, you cannot tell the story of the black panthers without reminding us of the feel of the time, right, through the music, through the pictures and all. >> yeah, i think that that was really important to us making the film is that you had to understand the times ate will -- times a little bit. we had to get you back there to understand the panthers at all or else it doesn't make any sense, and i think that one of the things that we were able to use was music, you know, the music of the times, the music where the songs are am i black enough for you, or all power to the people, you know, that was the music and that kind of sets a base, i think, for what comes
6:47 pm
later in the film. >> brown: and inevitably, you have to tell the storm that they cause, the opposition, the aggression, notably most of all from the f.b.i. and j. edgar hoover. >> yeah, i mean, i think that's really important. there was always this idea, you hear rumors about the f.b.i. setting out to destroy the panthers, but we were able to obtain f.b.i. memos and used j. edgar hoover's own words where he says clearly, he tells his agents, do anything you can to destroy the panthers, just don't let it get back it's the f.b.i. doing it. these are memos we use in the film. >> brown: and the personalities in the leadership, hughie newton, bobbi bobby seal, eldridge clashing from almost the beginning. >> yes, these are volatile personalities. the film is warts and all, it's
6:48 pm
a sober, i hope, assessment of the black panther parties, these personalities that are clashing, but also the f.b.i. is setting them against each other. they're writing letters, you know, pretending to be huey writing to eldridge and letters that are supposedly eldridge writing to huey and spurring this conflict on. >> brown: the times, there are some things i look at and it feels very much set in your time and, of course, there are other things as you watch the film you can't help but think not that much has changed. >> right, and that makes the film so relevant. the panthers started because of police brutality. we're dealing with that over and over again today. the panthers have a ten-point program where they call for certain changes, you know, better education, better healthcare, those kind of things. you know, we're still fighting for those in the african-american community. so i think there is this resonance, you know to, what's happening today and that's what
6:49 pm
makes the story in some ways really important, you know, because it's not -- it doesn't exist only in this historical bubble. it's not this thing where you can say that was interesting back then but it has real relevance to what's happening today and i think that's what i wanted the film to talk about and to do. >> brown: let me ask you, finally, about yourself. i have been thinking about this film in the context of all the films you've made and i've seen many of them. do you see it as a kind of continuation of a mission that you're on in filmmaking and what is that mission? >> well, hopefully, i'm not on a mission, but, you know, so i guess sometimes i am. i think there is this continuity, you know. the film that we did right before this, freedom summer, you know, it ends in 1964 with stokely carmichael yelling, you know, black power, black power, black power. >> brown: leading to this next one. >> and this film starts almost with the same clip of stokely
6:50 pm
yelling black power, black power, black power. signing that sometimes -- so i think that sometimes people want to look at the black panther movement as outside of the civil rights movement. i think it was part of the civil rights movement and i think whether you agree with them or not, it's time for a reassessment of the panthersenned a to look at them in a new light. >> brown: the film is "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." stanley nelson, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. >> ifill: finally tonight, an ode to desserts. daniel boulud is a james beard award winning chef with restaurants around the world. tonight, he celebrates a meal's sweet spot: dessert, and explains why we should never go without.
6:51 pm
>> a meal is a crescendo. and, the crescendo would not be complete without the dessert. the last impression i think you want to leave a long lingering, sort of, dreamy feel of the end of a meal. and, i think dessert, it, uh, it energize you, the sugar, i think you get a little bit of the sugar rush. >> the best part of it is you soak it in a lot of rum. >> that's ghaya, our pastry chef. it's an old classic dessert where it's maybe not a children- driven dessert but, uh, you know, once you start to grow up you love baba au rhum because that's the only chance you have to have a little bit of alcohol in your dessert. and, and for us we take this classic idea of the baba au rhum but we make a, a delicate baba, which is soaked in an aged white
6:52 pm
rum, uh, three years old white rum with vanilla and then, uh, we have pistachio, a crust of pistachio on top. and, we serve that with a pistachio whip cream and the crunch of the little pistachio and then on the side, also, is a salad of citrus so there's grapefruit, there is orange, there is a little bit of kumquat confit in sugar and all that. so the, the citrus is there to, sort of, play with the rum, play with the baba, cool off a little bit the rum. the cream is there to give richness to either the baba or the citrus, and the sweet together it's still, um, a very light, refreshing dessert and yet a very classic french baba au rhum. dessert is very artistic, dessert is, sort of, an expression of art in a very natural way and in a very, sort
6:53 pm
of, um, decadent way as well. in cooking, uh, yes, it's a little bit more like jazz the, i mean, where you can jam a little bit, you can take, you can be spontaneous, with pastry it, i think, goes a little bit more like classical music. the, the repertoire is set and it's question of just creating the layers of intensity. i don't think dessert is really the problem in a diet of people. you have to eat dessert with moderation but i think it's important to continue to keep yourself and your soul happy with a bit of sweetness and, uh, i'm having chocolate every night at home. i have always bar of chocolate in my fridge and i break a little piece and i suck on slowly and feel like, "ah that's so good." okay, that chocolate, maybe we should do something with it tomorrow.
6:54 pm
>> ifill: online, thirty years after her death, author ayn rand, continues to influence a new generation of readers inspired by the philosopher's praise of individualism. but what would an ayn rand world actually look like? making sense columnist and research psychologist denise cummins imagines a world where self-interest is above all, read her take, on our home page, tonight on charlie rose: secretary of defense ash carter on his plan to energize the coalition against isis. and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, telling stories with music, carter burwell on composing for the movies. i'm gwen ifill, join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs
6:55 pm
newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your . >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
6:56 pm
>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. falling into place. a lot has changed in the past few days. the s&p 500 put together its best two-day rally since august of last year. production freeze. will a pledge by some of the largest oil producers succeed in tackling with global glut of crude. increasing diversity in the nation's fastest growing and highest paying industry while helping girls of color reach their dreams. the first part of a week long series begins tonight on "nightly business report" for tuesday, february 16th. good evening. i'm sharon epperson. >> i'm tyler mathisen.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on